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A beautiful, lusciously green, healthy tree is every lawn owner’s dream. No matter how expertly trimmed or pruned your greenery maybe, no matter how skilled you are in keeping pests and infections at bay, no matter how sincere your efforts are in pumping enriched fertilizers; when your tree’s life-giving support goes unnoticed, you are at a major risk.

Roots: the life-giving support of every tree! The part that works tirelessly to help your towering green pal thrive and grow, the anchor that draws out the best nutrients, minerals and water that your it requires. Roots are the very important aspect of your tree’s life, that often not just remain hidden, but are also unnoticed and neglected. The fact that they are invisible does not propose that they do not require maintenance. Roots also need to be cared for just as much as the shoot do. They are in fact the most important part to be looked out for; at the Value Tree Service, Austin, we are quite adamant about root health and root maintenance. The most common root collar disorder that occurs in a majority of tree population is a buried root collar. More than the threat it is, the harm that it brings is unimaginably quick. And hence, the arborists at Value Tree Service say, “No excuses on a buried root collar! “

Root collar:

The junction where the tree trunk (or stem) and the roots meet are called the root collar. At this point of contact, there is a flare called the root flare. When this flare goes buried underground and is not visible at the ground level, the condition is called a buried root collar. The root flare and the collar area should ideally be visible and exposed to air. Tree services head straight to the excavation process which is called Root Collar Exposure.

Why should root collar be exposed?

The aim behind the root collar exposure technique is to dig up a little into the ground and make this region exposed to air. Why because, the root flare and collar are not programmed to encounter the underground conditions of the soil; predominantly, moisture and lack of air.

A buried root collar inhibits respiration. A tree’s bark having not been designed to be continually resistant to moisture falls short in function when it goes underground. At the root collar, the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place, and the tree performs its normal function of respiration. Now, when the bark is constantly exposed to soil moisture, the respiratory process is inhibited and the exchange of gases is hindered.

Buried root collar effects:

buried root collar or root flare Austin TX
Tree with buried root flare or root collar

The root collar gradually loses it function, which results in poor vascular food and water conduction. When the supply of food for the roots is minimized, the uptake of water and nutrients by the roots consequently diminishes as well. The result is root dieback, loss of immunity or resistance, a dying plant on the whole. This condition makes the tree more vulnerable or susceptible to infections and undoubtedly has the ability to affect the entire structure.


  1. Yellowing of leaves
  2. Pale leaf coloration
  3. Leaf margin burns
  4. Necrosis of leaves
  5. Dieback of upper canopy

Aren’t these symptoms familiar? Of course they are! Every tree disorder usually displays the same symptoms, especially in the case of water stress. Too much water supply or too little water supply, the effects are the same. The only greater risk with a root collar infected situation here is; you might lose your tree, overnight. When the symptoms go unnoticed for years, the built in infected and harmed condition will finally blow the big horn one day. If you reside in Austin and there is a tree in your yard that has been rapidly drying and you have been feeding a generous supply of water; stop, allow us to inspect the roots!

How to identify root collar disorder?

Simple: an invisible root collar! When your tree’s root flare is buried beneath the ground level, you have a root collar disorder.

How is it rectified?

The disorder is rectified by doing a root collar exposure. The soil area around the roots is excavated until the root flare is visible. Usually, about 6 to 12 inches of the mulch or soil is removed from around the root collar region. The excavated area mostly appears like a well around the trunk. The deeper we have to go to find the root flare, the area around the flare also will be increased to provide space to work on.

You find the urgent need to pick up your shovel and dig out the soil around the trunk right away? We are glad, but that doesn’t solve the issue in the right manner. Here again, you need an expert’s hand to ensure no damage is caused to root connections.

exposed root flare Austin TX
Tree with exposed root collar

A hand trowel, rock hammer, air spade and water pressure are the best equipment to handle root collar. Water pressure and air spade are the best and effective methods that help shallow root excavations without causing any scarring on scrapping on the root surface.

We also look out for…

When we get to the root, our arborists are specific on clever working. Root girdling, root infections or any other problems Value Tree Service happens to find on your Austin yard, we address it right away.

Things to remember:

  • A neat well lining or edging is what we usually settle for. If you consider the well as a risk, we would recommend course gravel to cover the opening. However, an open root collar is ideally the best choice to achieve the purpose.
  • Keep a check on the well built around your exposed root collar. Ensure the soil does not glide back into it!
  • Be cautious while watering your tree and supply a rich base of organic fertilizers to promote better health after a root collar exposure.
  • If your concern is not on a yard, but it is on a landscape, take extra care. Leveling and soil filling procedures carried out should be done bearing in mind the root collar disorder.
  • Buried root collar is the most common reason for a tree’s declining health and death. Prevent it! Reach out to us, protect your greenery!

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